Holland America outfitted Zaandam with state-of-art emission reduction technology.

One of the industry’s latest environmental initiatives is aboard Holland America’s Zaandam, which has been outfitted with cutting-edge emission reduction technology.

The ship, long a familiar sight along Alaska’s Inside Passage, spent last season testing a $1.5 million seawater scrubbing system to demonstrate the feasibility of using this technology to reduce emissions from large ocean-going vessels.

Holland America chief Stein Kruse said the technology “could dramatically change not only the cruise industry but the entire maritime industry by reducing ship engine emissions.”

The “scrubber,” which is installed into the smoke stack, mixes the hot gasses from the engine exhaust with very small droplets of cool seawater to “scrub” away sulfur oxide and other matter, such as tiny solid or liquid particles that can cause adverse health effects. The seawater converts the sulfur oxides into harmless sulfates and neutral salts. The seawater is then treated to capture any solids or petroleum compounds and then discharged back into the ocean.

This study is a collaborative effort made possible with the generous assistance of a grant from the EPA/West Coast Diesel Collaborative and contributions from the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency and the Port of Seattle. Other funding partners in the study include: BP, Environment Canada, B.C. Ministry of the Environment, B.C. Clean Air Research Fund, and the Vancouver-Fraser Port Authority (Canada).

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